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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  January 20, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EST

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makeup or clothes that you wore to the state dinner on november 24, 2009? >> on advice of counsel, i assert my right to decline to answer your question. >> it would be self-inkrim in a tower to answer who paid for the clothes you wore to the state dinner? >> on advice of dinner i assert my right to remain silent and decline to answer your question. .
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>> on the advice of counsel, i respectfully reserve my right to answer your question. >> to you regret any of your actions that you took and the resulting problems that caused the white house and others? >> on the the id by sub -- under the advice of counsel, i respectfully reserve my right to not answer your question. >> you do not feel any regret for the problems that you have called. that is what i would surmise from that. your intent was simply to attend the white house state dinner at the invitation of someone at the pentagon or other agency of united states government. you claim that this is a misunderstanding or a
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miscommunication. are you willing to forgo any financial gain that may arise through this incident including appearances, books, bees, or television opportunities such as any reality tv shows? >> i am only compelled to respond to questions are on the circumstances. i respectfully decline that answer your question. >> i think that these witnesses have a right to invoke the fifth amendment against self- incrimination when it relates to criminal activity. something that would incriminate them in a criminal proceeding. i also think that they me be offering the fifth amendment question that do not so involved such jeopardy. i ask that we consider what response we should have to these
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witnesses. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. i thank the witnesses for their testimony and the members for their questions p. i would remind the witnesses that the member of the committee may have additional questions for you and we will ask you to respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. just for the committee members, we have another item to take up as soon as the hearing is adjourned. this concludes de two of this hearing. having no further business, the committee is adjourned. >> you are watching public affairs programming on c-span. created by america's cable tv companies, offered as a public service.
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over the next 45 minutes, today's political news. a news conference with republican senator-elect scott brown in boston. and about 20 minutes, senate gop leaders talk with reporters about how mr. brown possible and in yesterday's election will affect the health-care debate. and after that, democratic senate leaders also meet with reporters. >> next week, president obama delivered his first day of the union address to congress, laying out his vision for the future of the country and his vision to deal with issues like the war in iraq and afghanistan for the state of the union address next wednesday, january 27, at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c- span. >> the newly elected republican senator from massachusetts, scott brown, spoke with reporters in boston for about 20 minutes.
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>> good morning, everybody. i would like to read a brief statement and take a few questions. i hope you all have had a good night's sleep. i certainly have not. and i said last night i am proud about the campaign that we ran. we work very hard and we traveled throughout the state talking with people and asking about the issues that concern them. and we could not have done it with the extra door it -- without the extra and art -- the extraordinary effort by everybody. all afford to getting to work right away, and try to deal with all the very important challenges that we have before us. as you know this morning, my campaign legal scandal delivered a request to the secretary for an unofficial vote count, and within that the number of
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outstanding absentee ballots and i am confident that it will show that the margin of victory exceeds the map -- the amount of the outstanding absentee ballots. since the election is not in doubt, i hope that the senate will seek me on the basis of those unofficial returns, just as they did for ted kennedy in 1962. with that, i am very happy to take some questions. [inaudible] dollar's why you want to get down there so quickly? >> we are going down tomorrow. i have already spoken with the senators and a whole host of other people down there. it is important to hit the ground running because there are some very important issues
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facing our country. the campaign is over now. now we have to focus on solving problems. i have had great working relationships with the delegations and i am looking forward to getting down there as quickly as i can. >> congratulations. you ran against the stimulus plan and his health care plan, suggesting that he could be tougher on terrorism, and you said there's too much spending and not about bipartisanship in washington. if that is not a referendum on the president, what do you think the message to them as? >> the message from travelling around the state, and i have tried to do some self rollup rigid self reflection as to why i am standing before you here today, the number one thing i have heard is that people are tired of business as usual. that means that the behind-the- scenes deals, the nebraska
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subsidizing of medicaid, things like that have just driven people crazy. they want to make sure that their elected officials are doing things in a transparent manner, with the best interest of our state in mind. the things that you just referred to come up we have health care here. we have certainly an economic problem, but the first time it was billed did not work. we have not created one new job. take the expiring tax cuts. when you talk about a child tax credit being cut in half, they affect every person from rich to poor, and there are financial issues in a time when people are having a difficult time paying their bills. the pundits, i will let them determine what this means in terms of the national race, but it is important to note that the main thing that they want is
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good government back and to be part of the process. i think they sent a very powerful message that business as usual is not the way that we do it. [inaudible] >> at the health care bill was eight issue, but this was an issue that were in people's minds. taxes, spending, how we deal with those issues, a health-care proposal -- those of the more important things. however, we already have 90% of people insured here. we know what we need to do it -- to fix it. at this one size fits all plan that is being pushed nationally, it does not work. we have done it here and i have -- i voted for health care here
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so i care very deeply about it. we need to let the states tell the federal government that this is what we would like to do. can we work with you on a team effort. you can incentivize us to do something better. maybe come up with something better so we can do that. [inaudible] first of all, we're past campaign mode. it is important for everyone to get some form of health care. the offer a basic plan for everybody is important. but are we going to raise taxes or cut medicare? i think we can do it better. to bring it back to the drawing board, there are some good things on a national plan being proposed. but if you look at this in a parochial matter, we have to look at massachusetts first.
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i felt as a legislator and a citizen that we have not done that very well. we always thought about washington first or the party first. the thing that i am hearing all throughout the state is what about us? thank you. nice to see. >> you ran as an independent. what is first on your agenda? to show that you are the independent that they wanted to send to washington. >> i have not had much sleep yet. but when i go down to washington tomorrow, i will meet with the delegation, all of which are democrats, and check in with the republican leadership, senator mccain who was helpful right from the beginning. people need to give me a chance to do a transition and see what is up -- what is on the agenda. i will look at each and every bill for its merits and how it affects our state and make the decision to say am i going to do this or do that.
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i don't think it is appropriate right now at just to -- i need to get down there and open an office and get a staff together. >> what would predict what advice would you have for harry reid on how to proceed with health care? would you start all over again? >> i don't think i will give commanded by said all. he is the senate president -- i am sorry, the majority leader. he has his own way of doing things and i do not want to influence that but i think i can certainly offer guidance as to what we have done here and how we can maybe do it better there. >> the independence -- how will you maintain it down there? people go there all the time saying they will be independent. and in the caucus with the
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party, and they only but the party line. how you maintain your independence? >> that happened earlier legendary when i was running for state senate, you are going to change. that is kind of old. i've been in a legislator for quite some time. yes, we caucus. we have a caucus to figure out what is in fact happening, to see if there are any issues that you want brought forth. there is a lot of good information. we have had many good caucuses with the senate here in massachusetts. when you talk about transparency and the ability to do things the right way, one thing i have always admired about the senate president here in massachusetts, i have said this publicly some time. by republicans in the senate right now, but we have every opportunity to have full and fair discussions and agreement.
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we've come together and transportation, pensions, the ethics reform, we have made some very super moves when it comes to the stem cell built and dealing with some of the budget issues. there are times in massachusetts that we can come together. i am hopeful that i will go down there just like i have always had, and i will caucus with the party, but i have made it very clear that i am not beholden to anybody. i have made that very clear. >> john kerry took some shots of you during this campaign. have you had any communications with them with working with them within the senate? >> it was the second third person that i called. listen, i had a great relationship with him. obviously with his bout with
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cancer, and i have great respect for what he has done. i know politics but the campaign is over. the thing i am most appreciative of is the fact that people i am going to be working with are being very gracious. ok, game over, let's get to work. >> congratulations on your wan. few of the role of the republican poster boy, when you get down to washington. should this adhered to conservative principles or open its mark and build a big tent party? some people around the country might be sufficient of the republican from massachusetts. what is your advice for your party? >> i'll let the political pundits determine what is happening in the larger scale. i was asked what kind of republican i would be and i did not know how to answer that. i am going to be a scott brown republican. maybe there is a new breed of
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republican coming to washington, not beholden to the special interest of the party, who will look to solve problems that. i have always been that way. i supported clean elections, i supported term limits, i believe strongly that we are there to serve the people. we're there to do a job. i like many others throughout the country -- when we are talking about what so-and-so's said in his book and what so- and-so's said here, my response is, who cares? we have terrorist trying to blow up our planes and kill our families and shopping malls. we have people dying in afghanistan and our soldiers trying to make sure that we get the job finished there. we have very serious economic problems. i like many of you say, what is up with that? we need -- we need to make sure that we solve the problems. if i can bring that type of message to washington and create
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that dialogue that brings us back to the basics, i am all for it. did you have a question? >> barack obama, at jfk -- they started to run for the white house the day they were elected to the senate. is that you? >> i don't want to be disrespectful but i have not had a sleep right now. i haven't even been to washington yet. i don't want to say that that is a silly question, but i am so thankful for the support that i have received from everybody. last night when i shook everyone's hands who was sweating and pushing, those of the people i go down there and represent. i'm just honored to be in this position. if you would have told me growing up that a guy whose mom was on welfare and parents had some marital troubles, and i had some issues growing up, that i would be here standing before you and going to washington,
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d.c., are you kidding me? i don't know if you understand that. i know that you have jobs to do and i respect that, but it is not only overwhelming, but it is sold -- i cannot tell you how proud i am to be here standing before you all. having an opportunity of may be turning this country and a different and better direction, that is my goal. other people may say he is going to do this for that. i am not going to listen to them now. >> minor part of your campaign, today i wear a different cap as the membership of the world's largest technical organization. one of the thing your predecessor was famous for was constituent services, get it was difficult for our organization representing more than 15,000 of the top technical people in the community to get word into his
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office. i am hoping that you would open your door to some of the people who are responsible for building massachusetts into the leading technological state in the country. i would hope that that would be part of your time. >> thank you for your involvement. as you know, i have always open my door for everybody in the state house, regardless of whether i agree with their position or not. the one thing that i have to be honest with you running throughout the campaign, even people who were not voting for me, that would say thank you for running a campaign, thank you for making about the issues, thank you for not making it-. thank you for always being accessible. i may not agree with you but the information that you gave me was accurate. i am from the big tent philosophy, regardless of the flyers in commercials, i have not changed a bit. i am the same person that day, i
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woke up, i walk the dogs, i gave my daughter who was an emotional about going to college at a hug and kiss, i am going to miss her very much. the course i am going to allow people to come in and talk to me. i am so excited to have that opportunity because i learn more and more about the wonderful type -- part of this country -- wonderful parts of the state. i'm going to take one more question. >> many of your followers see you as the person who is going to put the brakes on the obama administration. you see yourself as the person who will put the brakes on the obama agenda? >> i have a great conversation with the president. i was able to share that with you last night. he called right away, which i thank him for. we were talking and i look for to meeting him and working with him. he said, i heard that you are open-minded and you've got an independent guy. i said, mr. president, you have
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a wonderful family and i've had great respect for your accomplishments. do you want to bring the truck? i did say that. he laughed, and he said, when i came down there i did not want to go against you too hard. >> i know that you play a lot of hoop. we will play 212. and he laughed again. we may not agree on some things but he has a sense of humor. you have to have a sense of humor about politics. thank you. i said earlier in this will be the last question, i am going down tomorrow as a courtesy call. i am sure it will all work out. i have great trust and the secretary, and everyone knows that this is an overwhelming victory and they are looking forward to it. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says that he does not expect any more votes on health care until scott brown -- until scott brown is sworn in as the new senator from massachusetts. >> the people of massachusetts spoke very loudly and said that the congress to go in a different direction. i think we all experience that all around the country, even though we might need from -- might not be massachusetts citizens. i was flying back from kentucky last saturday and a number of people on the plane brought up as a lot of people have, can you stop that health care bill? the most interesting was a woman who came up and said i am a constituent of yours but i am
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married to a man from massachusetts. here he is. and she introduced me to him. we're going to massachusetts to vote for scott brown. they made a special trip so that he could vote for scott brown. this was in many ways a national referendum. it was on the major issues that we were wrestling with, whether or not the government to take over 1/6 of our economy, raise taxes by $500 billion, and drive up rates for most of our country. i think we a part of large and resounding message yesterday and one of the most if not arguably the most liberal states in america. the people of massachusetts spoke and spoke loudly. one concern i know a number if you have about the outcome of this election as to whether the new center would be seeded second.
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-- the senator would be seated soon. jim webb of virginia has made it clear he would not participate in any votes prior to that senator brown being sworn in. and i noticed that elected officials and massachusetts principal responsible for certifying got collations saying that it could take two weeks, but now say that it could be as soon as today. i do not believe that the kind of thing we've seen on full display but the cornhuskers kickback, the louisiana purchase, the gator aid, doing the bill behind closed doors, no more gamesmanship here. no more a lack of transparency. let us honor the wishes of the people of massachusetts and move forward with policy. with that, let me call on our
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outstanding chairman of the national republican senatorial committee who played an important role in yesterday's victory, john cornyn. >> first and foremost i think we want all like to congratulate scott brown for an outstanding campaign. there is no election that can be one without a good candidate. one that understands the temper of the times, what people are concerned about, and is able to deliver a message that response effectively to their concerns, and scott brown it -- and scott brown did it to near perfection. what was the message that the people of massachusetts were sending? they are simply fed up and tired of being shut out of the process. what they did yester day with a liking scott brown is a seat at the table. that is what we have been wanting all year, a seat at the table where we can work together
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on a bipartisan basis to come up with solutions to the problems that confront our country, nothing more, nothing less. and so i hope that this will usher in a new era of transparency and willingness to work together, rather than the special sweetheart deals caught behind closed doors that cause so much concern in the health- care bill and elsewhere. and let me just say that the health-care bill is a very important part of what this debate -- but it was not all that was decided through the american people sent a very clear message to the voters of massachusetts about the spending in the dead and the government intervention in their lives in ways that limits their freedoms and opportunities in the future for their children and grandchildren. i hope that that message is being received. i hope that we will be able to work together in the best
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interests of the american people and again let me congratulate scott brown on an outstanding victory and a wonderful campaign. >> can you talk about what is going to happen now? [inaudible] the democrats say that they want to move for. [inaudible] what i think is clear is that there will be no further action in the senate, thanks to senator webb, until scott brown is sworn in. i cannot speak for the house, and there has been discussion on the house side about whether or not they would simply take up the senate bill and pass it. i don't consider myself an expert on the house, but i am aware of one issue that could be very problematic for them, and that is the issue of whether not
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the taxpayers will pay for abortion. i know that the one republican in the house that voted for the bill initially has indicated he could not support the bill in the absence of the stupak language. my assumption is that the author of the stupak amendment might have trouble with it. i think there are a number of complications, but it is an internal democratic matter about which none of us are great experts. >> what is the bottom line? is the health care bill as it -- debt as we know it today? >> i sure hope so. has said repeatedly through the month of december, we were here every day, we should stop and start over and go step by step and concentrate on fixing the problem which is the rising cost. we laid out a series of things that we thought would address
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the cost problem without having the government takeover 1/6 of our economy. [inaudible] >> what incentive do you have to cooperate with democrats over the next six months? >> there is no way to predict that. what we have been saying repeatedly is that we would like to participate in the process rafting solutions to america's problems. that opportunity was denied us on health care. you saw the result. the american people looked at an effort to jam the minority -- the minority totally opposed to it, and it then ended up liking credibility with the american people. they want to accomplish things around here, of better way to go is not to jam it but rather work
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on these issues with an open mind and with a genuine bipartisan approach for those kind of measures in the been the kinds of things you can sell to the american people. >> he said that the people of the massachusetts spoke loudly last night. nowhere and state senator brown's campaign did he would use the word republican. he said it was a great victory for independents. you think the people of massachusetts chose a republican last night? >> i cannot recall a single time where i put the word republican and an ad. -- in an ad. my mother didn't raise any polish children. it by running in massachusetts, and 12% of massachusetts is republican, it does not strike me that that is a smart way to campaign. i gave scott brown credit for running an intelligent campaign that obviously he understood his
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state, a state that its three- one more democratic than republican, and more independents that all the rest combined. as he said in his speech last night, he was able to connect with the independent voters of massachusetts. they wanted to send him to washington to do business differently. i thought it was an inspired campaign. he did something that no republican has been able to accomplish in massachusetts since 1972. >> let me mention something in response to that three candidates look at what happens in massachusetts in isolation for you have to look at what happened virginia and new jersey and what happened is that independents, the people put together a winning coalition for barack obama, are fleeing in droves.
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what that gives us an scott brown is an opportunity to talk about the things that they were most concerned about, losing their jobs, losing their homes about health care because they saw it was a misplaced priority, because jobs was the number one priority. i think it gives us a chance to continue that conversation, and i think it is a very clear trend. scott brown and his campaign did a masterful job of understanding his state, understanding the mood of the electorate, and understanding what their priorities were -- and he spoke directly to that. that is why he was so successful. [inaudible] >> most of the votes up to this point had been party line. has that dynamic fundamentally changed? >> that is up to the majority.
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they chose to go left. in my view, they misread the electorate in 2008 and decided to pursue a largely dramatically left-of-center agenda. we have said repeatedly throughout last year and i will say again now that we're prepared to meet them in the middle for a truly bipartisan solutions to problems the american people sent us here to grapple with. [inaudible] >> it means that we are open to discussing any of the issues of the -- that are there before. i am not going to decide today what we're going to do in the future. as a general rule, we have said from the very beginning we want to be a full partner. you may have more votes than we do it, but if you do it all by yourself, the public is not going to buy it. i think that has been amply demonstrated back in 2009.
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maybe they will take this message and take a different approach. we will have to wait and see. >> david axelrod said that this will be part of the full agenda. do you see this as a repudiation of big government spending? >> a senator-elect brown said last night, it sounded to me like by 100,000 vote majority, one of the most liberal states in america, people said in a rather outspoken fashion with a unusual high turnout that they would like for us to go on a different direction. goodness, i think that is about as clear message as i ever seen delivered. >> if you get that opportunity, are there some incremental things on health care that you would like to see work on?
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>> we have said repeatedly what we thought could be done on health care, repeatedly. every day in the week in december, and we remain open to trying to do this right. to stop this effort, the wrong direction to go, and to sit down together and try to the step-by- step and fix the problem that we all know exists an american healthcare, which is cost. -- in american health care, which is cost. [inaudible] >> reconciliation would be an extremely difficult left, because remember, anything that is more waited for policy and pored budgetary activity is
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something that has to get 60 votes. a large segment of any issue as policy-driven as health care could be knocked out under the byrd rule under reconciliation. whatever went to the floor would come out because of the byrd rule. on the definition, i think the president has proposed to carve out. i look at it as a cynical act by the administration, because they're suggesting that they create this vehicle, an executive order, which is by definition partisan. it cannot enforce itself because it does not have statutory structure. there is no way you can require of load -- a vote. that undermines the purposes of the exercise. and you cannot fast-track it because the senate does not fast
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track unless you have the statutory fast-track framework. >> can you explain what you are planning on the epa exemption? >> as you know, the thing that we entered into at the end of december, and each side was allows a series of amendments. i was to be allowed an opportunity to bring up an amendment as it related to the epa regulation of emissions. this is something that we have been trying to bring to the floor for months and were denied the opportunity back in september to an end vance and amendment. we have several different -- to advance an amendment. we have several different options and we can introduce some today. as you know, i have been pursuing a resolution of
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disapproval, a different mechanism, but either way that we choose to take, and at this point in time my inclination is to proceed with the resolution of disapproval. i think that that is a more clear path poleward. but either way, i think it is important that we demonstrate repeatedly that the preferred alternative when it comes to regulating emissions in this country is to move through a legislative procedure, a legislative route that will allow for a balancing of how we reduce our emissions in this country and at the same time ensure that we do not kick the economy in the head rather wounded. we need to do this with a balance. when we talk about climate legislation, that climate legislation should go through the legislative process, not through the epa regulatory
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process. >> in light of the election last night, d.c. that the climate legislation is dead for the year -- to use seed that the climate legislation is dead for the year -- do you see that the climate legislation that did for the year? >> the majority leader sets the agenda and he wants to decide if he wants to dedicate foretime in the senate to that. -- fourth time in the senate to that. -- floor time in the senate to that. [inaudible] the nomination process around here is sometimes contentious, usually based upon the nominee. that it's been one of the most contentious nominees. center collins, do you have anything to add?
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she has been one of our more contentious nominees, a significant number in my conference, and i think at least some of the other side have not felt she should be rewarded. >> what are you prepared to work with the democrats on? >> afghanistan -- we were there last week. the president is doing the right thing with the deployment of 30,000 additional troops to afghanistan. i think this is a strategy that will work. his aside the sharpest people that we have to that theater -- he has assigned the sharpest people that we have to that theater, the sharpest cia, the state, the most talented of individuals are in afghanistan and focusing on pakistan as well. i commend them for the decisions
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that he made. i think he is off on the wrong track and something related to this, suggesting a date certain that we might begin to drawdown, creating a propaganda tool for the taliban. there is widespread confusion in the military about what our policy is with regard to interrogation in detention. very much confusion about that. having said that, i think the decision to go in there with a counterinsurgency strategy is the right thing to do and i believe virtually every member of our conference supports him. ok, thanks a lot. >> democratic senate leaders also spoke with reporters brought town minutes. -- spoke for about 10 minutes.
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>> i don't feel as if i have ever left. [laughter] of your ago, when the new congress and the new president came to office, the economy was reeling, there was a catastrophe out there. there was an enduring crisis and our country was on the brink of collapse, and maybe the world economy was on the brink of collapse. we knew what we had to do to clean up the mess. we found ourselves and made critical decision of make a bad situation from getting worse. we did not pretend for a minute that our work is done. we know that people in nevada, illinois, washington, n.y. -- every state in the union is still hurting. they are rightly concerned about the jobs, their homes, their
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health care, and basically their future. as we work to relieve a lot of that suffering, republicans have made a political calculation not to participate. and that is evident from what took place last year. their answer to everything, everything, has been no. hard to comprehend, but even on funding the troops. but really, what we're talking about with people not having jobs and the value of their homes declining in some losing their homes, is not about politics. some americans for democratic -- vote democratic, some republican, but all of them want us to work with partners. it will improve their individual lives. the election in massachusetts changes the math and says the
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senate. it does not change the fact that people are hurting. that election has not changed one thing in that regard. it does not change our commitment to help people that are hurting. we do not believe saying no is the answer. and it does not change republican's responsibility to work with us. to work for the american people. they think it is now more important than ever for the republicans to be willing to work toward common ground. if they do not, we'll risk paralysis. last year we always had a seat at the table reserved for republicans, especially in the finance committee, the gang of six. that took a long time because we want the republicans to be able to participate. it has been that way in everything that we have done. it was many years during the republican administration they had no conferences. we have had some. we hope this year that the
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republicans take the seat that we have reserved for them. i thought the people of massachusetts gave the republican caucus and i knew opportunity to govern. we hope today they take that opportunity to govern. questions? >> what you going to do now about the health care bill? >> the problems out there are certainly more than health care. people all of this country are concerned about their jobs -- keeping their jobs, finding a job. people have lost their homes, but people are concerned about the upside down values of their homes. somebody the work for me here, she is now returning to nevada, told me a few days ago the home that she bought is now worth
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$200,000 less than when she purchased it. this is all over the country. people concerned about that and two wars going on. it seems there's a new movie coming out in hollywood about the war in afghanistan or the war. health care -- as we travel ran during this recess, people are concerned but people come up to us all the time, they have children with pre-existing disabilities, they have pre- existing disabilities. a man by the name of sam schmidt, i'd known him for a number of years, he was involved in a very serious car accident and is now confined to a wheelchair, always in a wheelchair. he had been hurt for two years and the insurance company said, you are at your limit. you're on your own. five years he has been on his own and it has been a real trouble. people out there are terribly angry at wall street.
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can you imagine that this time when people are trying to hang on to their homes and trying to find a job that wall street has decided they are going to do about $120 billion in bonuses? so health care is a problem, but it is certainly more than that. the election shows that the american people want us to work together to solve problems. [unintelligible] >> first of all, we're not going to rush into anything. as you have heard, we are going to wait until the new senator arrives before we do anything more on health care. remember, the bill we passed in the senate is good for a year. there are many different things that we can do to move florida on health care but we are not making any of those decisions
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now. if there was one message that i got from the leadership meeting i held this morning in the caucus i just had was the fact that we're concerned about everything going on in the country and we're not going to rush to judgment on any one of them. >> are you committed to finishing that health care bill? >> i am confident that health care is an issue in this country and we are going to do everything we can to alleviate the pain and suffering of people who cannot afford health care and who want to maintain what they have. i am not going to be telling house representatives what they should do. if i did, they would not listen anyway. [inaudible] i have spoken to the president. i've spoken to the president's chief of staff. i've spoken to the speaker on
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all of these issues. of course we have. >> if this is all about jobs, should you have brought a jobs bill for first? >> we have had lots of things that create jobs. it is no revelation to each of you that what we did with the first-time home buyers is created tremendous interest in purchasing homes. that was a job-creating factor. the cash for clunkers created jobs. the middle-class tax cuts that we did created jobs. we realize that the credit market is very difficult out there, especially for small businesses. we have a lot of other things that we're going to do relating to jobs. we have been trying -- i am so mindful of the struggle that chairman boxer had done to get a
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highway bill. talk about job creation bill, for every billion dollars that we spend, it creates about 50,000 high-paying jobs. we have been unable to get that jobs bill for infrastructure past the republicans. [inaudible] i said then and i said -- i said then that reconciliation was not time -- it was not time to do reconciliation. but no decisions had been made. >> in a few moments, on a short
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portion of a hearing on capitol hill but came to end -- looking into the security breach at a recent white house dinner. l little less than 10 minutes, members of the senate homeland security committee to focus on aviation safety and the attempted bombing of flight 253 on christmas day. and after that, house debate on a bill designed to increase charitable donations for earthquake relief in haiti. on washington journal tomorrow morning, an update on earthquake relief in haiti from florida representative meek who just returned from there, and from the haitian ambassador raymond joseph. and paul ryan will take your questions about the republican congressional agenda. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern.
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abigail adams had to remind john adams to remember the ladies and creating a new government. dolly madison had become help her once-shy husband, james. the intimate lives of the founding fathers. a profile of the women who played a part in shaping our country. part of this weekend's booktv on c-span2. the northern virginia couple who are uninvited attendees at a white house party declined to answer questions about the party. they invoke their fifth amendment rights when asked about how they got in. here are a few members of the hearing all about and homeland security committee. -- followed by the homeland security committee. >> we would like to welcome both of you to this committee. i now ask that you summarize your joint statement in five minutes.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman, and i do have an opening statement for you. to the honorable members of the committee, brought -- prior to being contacted, we ask that our eternities -- attorneys reached out and meet with various staff members and provide key information to assess the committee of relevant only security issues. we understand that our eternity's -- our attorneys met with your staff and provide it on records, e-mails, and other regular -- relevant documentary evidence. we have continued to provide this evidence and be as helpful as we can to the importance security concerns you are investigating. we also understand the committee received our attorneys level credit -- letter that we intended to assert our constitutional right to remain silent and declined to answer any questions if we were
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subpoenaed to appear before the committee. we thought it unfortunate that the committee required to appear in person to invoke our fifth amendment rights even though it is against the ethical rules of the d.c. bar to do so. indeed, congressman waxman chastised this is that conduct in another hearing. we reiterate that on the bias -- on the advice to counsel we respectfully invoke our right to remain circumspect -- are right to remain silent. we appreciate the offer from representatives thompson lost out to answer in executive session. we understand that to do so would afford us no legal protection and it would not have been fair to accept the offer now when we would still invoke our right to remain silent. heart council offered last week to the committee an opportunity to provide further information and make a full attorney --
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attorney proper for any no should members of all relevant information. that offer was declined by chairman thomas and's staff. we again offered the opportunity for out council to meet with the members of the committee and assist in this review of important homeless security issues. finally my wife and i say that we are strong supporters of the men and women in uniform. yet great respect for the presidency, the men and women of the united states secret service, with a tradition of excellence in their mission. nothing that transpired on december -- november 24 to take away from the extraordinary services the united states secret service performs on a daily basis. thank you very much. >> thank you very much for your testimony. i remind each member that he or she will have by bettis to question the panel. i will not recognize myself for the first set of questions.
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-- i will now recognize myself for the first set of questions. did you attend the white house state dinner held on november 24, 2009 as part of a reality tv stunt? >> mr. chairman, i am under nondisclosure agreement and should not discuss matters related to the television matter. >> well, that is not the answer. let me give you another chance. >> mr. chairman, i respectfully assert my right to remain silent and declined to answer your question. >> you have that absolute right. did you receive an invitation in the mail to attend the white house state dinner?
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>> hundred bicep counsel, i assert my right to remain silent and declined to answer your question. >> can you describe for the committee york enter action -- your interaction with the secret service officers at each checkpoint and how you walk from the street to the white house? >> on advice of counsel, i respectfully assert my right to remain silent and declined to read your question. >> were you on the secret service offices security checkpoint list? >> hundred by said council, i respectfully assert my right to remain silent and declined to answer your question. >> did the officer verify your list on the security list? >> wanted bicep counsel, i respectfully assert my right to remain silent and declined to answer your question. >> i couple of why the bench to
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tell you about. does senate armed services committee looks into the fort hood shooting at 9:30 a.m. eastern. and then the senate foreign relations committee looks into afghanistan from special envoy richard holbrooke. >> this week and on c-span2 " booktv," john mueller believes that a nuclear attack on america is less likely than thought. and then a look ahead a modern automobile. find the entire schedule booktv.org. >> now the first congressional hearing on the christmas day bombing attend on flight 253.
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witnesses include all my security sick -- secretary janet napolitano, james blair, and the head of the national counter -- counter-terrorism center. this is a little more than 2.5 hours. >> good morning and welcome to the hearing. as we all know, on this past christmas day, 2009, a man slipped to the multilayered defenses we have directed since 9/11 to stop attacks against our homeland, and boarded a northwest flight 253 from amsterdam to detroit over which he attempted a suicide bombing. a faulty detonator and a courageous and quick action by the passengers and crew prevented the deaths of 290
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board -- to under 90 people aboard that plane and many more on the ground below. we were lucky, we were very lucky. because it is not in five years since the enactment of the 9/11 commission recommendations for intelligence reform, senator collins and i decided last year to initiate a series of oversight hearings this year to examine how well these reforms have been implemented and whether it further -- whether further changes and all law, regulation, or implementation are needed to protect our country. that is the inquiry we begin today. but now, of course, we must carry out our oversight responsibilities through the unsaddling prism of the christmas day breach of our homeland defenses by the terrorists. .
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quest this moved congress to act on recommendations to create the department of homeland security. that was to better cope with the threats that our country would face in the 21st century. i believe that this post-9/11 reforms have worked very well. the record shows that after the
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creation of the department of homeland security in 2002 and the establishment of the national counter-terrorism center in 2004, there was not a terrorist attack by islamic extremists on america's homeland for almost seven years. nobody would have predicted that on september 12, 2001. we have a lot to be grateful for. some of the most successful defenses of our homeland in my opinion have been truly amazing. the details of these remain largely unknown. two of those occurred in 2009 with regard to to terrorists. arrested less encumbered with plans materials needed for
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devastating bombing attacks on the york city. but this was the most dangerous terrorist plot on our soil since 9/11. the interest in the sense of the consequences it would have had. it was only stopped by a brilliant, courageous, and cooperative work by our intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security agencies. senator collins and i and other members of the committee had been briefed on the details. everything worked just as we hoped it would when we adopted the post-9/11 the legislation. there was remarkable agility, brilliant judgment, total cooperation between intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, both here within the united states and throughout the world.
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notwithstanding, these remarkable achievements over the seven years after the enactment of the department of homeland security and some of the extraordinary defenses which occurred in 2009, the record also shows that in 2009, three islamic terrorists broke through our defenses, a man who murdered an army recruiter and little rock, ark. simply because he was wearing the uniform of the u.s. army. the doll house on who murdered 13 americans -- nidal hasan who killed 13 people in fort hood and abdulmutallab. there are clearly some things about our homeland defenses that
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are not working as we need them to. we need to find out together what is to win on and why and fix it. i know it is probably not realistic to promise the american people that we will stop every attempted terrorist attack on our homeland. but i feel very strongly that that must be our goal. it is certainly the standard that will guide our committee during this inquiry and the other we are conducting on the terrorist attack at fort hood and any recommendations for executive or legislative action that we make as a result of our inquiry. our purpose is to review the current state of the homeland security through these cases and to make recommendations for reform that will get our homeland, america, as close as possible to 100% secure from
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terrorist attacks. in the christmas day bombing case, there was so much intelligence and information available to our government that appointed to abdulmutallab's violent intentions that it is beyond frustrating, infuriating, that this terrorist was able to get on to that plane to detroit with explosives on his body. he was able to do so because of systemic failures and human errors. our responsibility is clear. we have to find what systemic failures were and fix them. if the air administration or we and our tool operations find there are personnel of the federal to government who did not perform up to the requirements of their jobs, they should be disciplined or removed. as is clear from the christmas
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day attack which almost killed hundreds, the fort hood attack which did kill 13, and the 14th of the zazi plot that saved countless american lives, the decisions of public servants who work to protect us from terrorists every day have life- and-death consequences. if we did not hold accountable those who made these human errors, the probability is greater that they will be made again. i have not called this hearing to knock down the new walls of homeland security that we build after 9/87. we have called it to repair and reinforce them so to better protect the american people from terrorist attacks. it is in that spirit that i think the witnesses, the director of homeland security, the director of national
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intelligence and others for being with us. i look forward to your testimony and your questions and answers. >> senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> every day, the men and women of our military, homeland security, law-enforcement and intelligence communities work hard to keep our nation safe. they serve on the front line of the war on terrorism and over the last year alone, their efforts have helped fort numerous terrorist attacks. -- helped thwart numerous terrorist attacks. but as the christmas day attempt shows, this must be strengthened. we dodged a bullet in the skies above the chart on christmas day. a mere fluke, and the state by
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the terrorist on that plane or a failed detonator prevented that attack from succeeding. the quick action of courageous passengers and crew helped spare the lives of nearly 300 passengers on flight 253. we cannot escape the cold, hard, fax. terrorists have not relented and their fanatical quest to frighten our nation's citizens and to slaughter as many americans as possible. their tactics continue to evolve. attacks inspired by al qaeda's violent ideologies including those by lone wolves or those perpetrated by smaller, on coordinated cells are incredibly difficult to deal with. the threats posed by american
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enemies continues to grow. our nation's efforts to defeat them must be nimble, determined, and resident. -- and resolute. this committee offers the most sweeping reform for intelligence communities since the second world war. the intelligence reforms and terrorist prevention act of 2004 did much to improve the management and performance of intelligence, homeland security, and law-enforcement agencies. the increase collaboration and information sharing has helped our nation present numerous attacks -- present numerous attacks. -- prevented numerous attacks. it is a work in progress. reform requires constant focus and attention to stay one step
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ahead of the threat we face. for example, despite the considerable improvements in information sharing, our intelligence community continues to rely on internal systems and processes that are relics from the days before reform. these systems have not effectively surfaced intelligence information so that analysts and officials can effectively identify threats in real-time. the president has asserted, and i agree, that there was ample, credible intelligence on abdulmutallab to warrant his inclusion on the no-flight list. whether this failure was caused
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by human error, court judgment, outmoded systems, or the sheer volume of data that must be analyzed, we must develop systems and protocols to prevent these failures. consider what i believe to be the most obvious error in handling abdulmutallab's case. after his connections were reported by his father, the state department should have revoked his visa. at the very least, he should have been required to report to our embassy and explain his activities and answer questions before he was allowed to retain his be sent. the state department has this authority. in fact, the intelligence reform act protect the department from lawsuit when its officials
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revoke ab said overseas. the state department failed to act. most disturbing is the state department is also pointing fingers at other agencies to explain this failure. the president is now directed -- has now directed the intelligence community to determine which of the 400,000 suspected terrorists on the watch list have a valid u.s. visas. that response is not sufficient bentham the government should immediately identified and suspend the pieces of all persons listed in the broadest terrorist database operated known as the tide list until a further investigation is undertaken in each case. these of these up holders with suspected connections to terrorism should shoulder the
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burden of proving that they do not intend to harm this nation or its citizens. that they cannot meet this burden, we cannot take the risk of permitting them the privilege of travelling to our country. immediately revoking the vises up suspected terrorists -- the visas of suspected terrorists is only the first step. this is done only in some airports now. what happens now is that confirmation only occurs when passengers have arrived on our land. there is no technological reason why this cannot occur.
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we did not choose this war. it was thrust upon us by terrorists who are determined to destroy our way of life. our counter-terrorism efforts must be tireless and steadfast. we must continue to build on the intelligence reforms that are already in place to make america more secure. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator collins. >> let us begin testimony with the hon. michael leiter. thank you for being here. >> it is my pleasure. this is the committee that was most instrumental in creating ntsb. i want to open with a assertion. abdulmutallab should not have stepped onto a plane on christmas day.
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the counter-terrorism system collectively failed and i, along with director blair and nepal to non-oil and others want to tell you and the -- knowledge, and others, we need to do better. we have been reminded again how unceasing our enemy is and how committed they are to attacking the united states and how committed we need to be in protecting americans. to begin with, but like to take a rigid make a short rundown of the bombing attempt to give you a perspective of what we did mess. i want to start by debunking what has become conventional wisdom with his this failure was just like 9/11. it was not. that does not make it any less significant and it does mean that the solution may be very different than what we approached post 9/11.
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it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence we had already collected. although the national counter- terrorism agency has long known about the threat of al qaeda, we did not correlate the specific information that would have identified abdulmutallab and capt. of that flight. more specifically, the growing characteristics of al qaeda and the potential of striking targets not just in yemen but reaching beyond to the homeland was missed. ui would also note that the
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intelligence community repeatedly warned about the types of devices -- explosive devices that were used in this attack and how they might prove challenging to screen. despite all of that, and the overall theme, we failed to make the final connections. the last mile that linked the abdulmutallab to the spot. we had the information that came from his father saying that he was concerned that his son had in fact gone to yemen and that he was coming under the influence of on known religious extremists and he was not planning on returning home. we also had other information coming from other intelligence channels provided different pieces of the story. we had a partial name, umar farouk, but no single piece of
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intelligence that brought that altogether. nor to our analysts bring that information together. as of assault, as you have noted, although abdulmutallab was identified as a known or suspected terrorists and his name was entered into our database the derogatory information that we associated with him at the time did not meet existing policy standards that were adopted in 2008 and promulgated in 2009 to be watched or placed on the no-fly list. had all of the information that we had available to us been linked together, his name would have on top of the ban on that list and thus he would have been on a visit screening list and the board of inspection list. whether he would have been placed on the note-fl-fly list d
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have been based on the analytic judgments at the time. i have already noted one of the lessons we learned is that we need to reexamine the standards before people reach our borders. finally, mr. chairman, senator collins, members, without trying to make any excuses for what we did not do, as i hope i have made clear, we did not do things well and we did not do things right. i do think it is critical in that we note some context in which this failure occurred. i thank you for your kind words about the successes that we have had but we must have more. each day, we received literally thousands of pieces of intelligence related to terrorism. it is more than 5000 pieces per
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day flowing into the center. we reviewed literally thousands of things each day, more than 5000 names each day that we review. every day, we place more than 350 people on the watch list. although in hindsight, we can assess with a very high degree of confidence that abdulmutallab was in fact plotting, we cannot do that at the time. although we must and to -- although we must and will do better, we must recognize that there is no single bullet. as the terrorist threat becomes more nimble and multi dimensional, as illustrated by the threats we have seen over the last year, we have to have a multi dimensional, multi layered set of the fences of international cooperation, technology, military, law
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enforcement, to keep us safe as possible. with that, i will turn the microphone over to my other panel members. >> thank you. it is encouraging that your cooperation is so profound. >> i am glad to be here to talk about this. the american people and you need to know what we are doing and what we need to do. thank you for inviting me to talk with you this morning. but me echo -- let me echo the words that abdulmutallab shall not have stepped on that flight bound for the u.s. the counter-terrorism system did not do its job. it is in large part my responsibility. i told the president that i and the other leaders of the intelligence community are determined to do better in the
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future. you heard from director michael leiter evidence and you would be correct in concluding that the system is capable of stopping this attack but it did not do so in this case for a set of reasons that i think we understand and we are working right now to fix. i should make it clear to this committee that there is a lot of responsibility in this area. the system we have now has been largely created since the legislation in 2004. we should not underwrite the progress of the past as we move
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forward. the threat is also evolving. we have a good capability to detect and disrupt the sort of multi purpose teams that takes months of plans -- months to plan, rehearse, provide logistic support for an attack but we are not as capable as we should be of carrying out the much more difficult task of detecting these radicalized citizens of the u.s., europe, other countries like nigeria. for those who plan their own attacks who are inspired by alal qaeda but not directed by them. we have to improve our intelligence systems further so that we can identify and stop
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these loan contexne contacts. as secretary, will tell you, we need to not just to improve the intelligence but the way in which we interpreted. the conclusions we're making on this evidence is that they fall into four categories. those are currently under way but we will continue to refine and work on them both in the short term and certainly the long term. number one is changing the way we apply these no-fly criteria so that they're more flexible and continue to protect the civil liberties of u.s. persons. the note-fly-fly list had been d
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at by a bureaucratic process that stretches across to the ministrations there was started in the summer of 2008. the ever implemented just before this administration came and and were reaffirmed by this administration and they were frankly rote by process and lacked the flexibility that they needed. we have fixed that and that is very important. i need to assign more clearly defined responsibilities for analysis and follow-up of the information we now have. we have a situation in which everybody was responsible for working, everybody had the guts to connect, but i have not made it clear exactly who had prime irresponsibility, secondary
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responsibility, that when crunch time comes, people cannot go home at night until that is carried out. no. 3, we have to have an ability, and we are doing so, to adjust the resources as the threat ships. we had strategic warning of the intent to send operatives outside of yemen and yet i allowed the analytical resources to focus more on the internal yemen problem where we also have active threats to american interests. we did not add more resources to ensure that both parties were covered. we need to do so and are doing so. we are adding resources immediately. fourth, you have alluded to this, we have to improve both the technical and human abilities to deal with this massive information that the
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terrorist research turns up. that is a tough task. although we have used a lot of technical tools in recent years, some of them are outdated. we have a priority effort to reexamine those to make sure that we are doing with the best of what is available and are using outside experts as well as those that we have inside. these improvements are not years in the making. we are working on them now. we have already made improvements in the two weeks since that attack. we heard getting short-term ones done immediately and more importantly, we will work dynamically on them over time rather than waiting for artificial deadlines to take place. i have also convened a panel of
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outside experts that the book review exactly what happened in the december case and we need to take a more careful look and review the changes we're making to see if we are getting it right or to tell us what we are not doing that we should do. >it is important and i share your cool about the 100% -- share your bowl about the 100% safety issue. we need a system of offense and defense. go after them where they are, pushed our intelligence on all points and used intelligence to strengthen us but not to only the law on that. -- not only rely on that.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> good morning.. thank you for this opportunity to testify on this attempted terrorist attack. i am pleased to be heard to date of my colleagues. as president obama has made clear, this administration is determined to find the vulnerabilities in the system that allowed this attack to occur. our country's efforts against terrorism and those of our international allies, i would like to take a moment to describe the dhs role in securing air travel. dhs is and can be characterized as a consumer of the united states government consolidated
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terror watch list which we used to help keep terrorists from boarding flights and to identify travelers who undergo additional screening. within the u.s.,dhs conducts the actual physical screening at checkpoints and provides further inflate security measures. outside of the u.s.,dhs works with foreign governments and airlines to advise them on which passengers may prove a threat and requires security measures on flights bound for the u.s. tsa this not screen people at international airports -- tsa does not screen people at international airports. abdulmutallab should never have been allowed to board this u.s.- bound plane with explosives. the process to fix these vulnerabilities is well under way. we are all working on it currently. we welcome at the department the opportunity to go over the
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process to contribute to improving the federal government possibility to connect and assimilate the process and we appreciate the work they have done and the ongoing relationship that we have. we are focused on improving aviation screening and expanding international partnerships to guard against similar type attacks. in a bunker written statement i submitted, it describes various programs rigid and a longer written statement i submitted, i describe various programs we are implementing. the bottom line is this. abdulmutallab was not on the no- fly list nor was he flagged for secondary screening. the classical screening performed by foreign authorities at airports in nigeria and the netherlands did not detect explosives on his body.
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immediately after the attack, dhs responded. we direct f dathe faa to alert l flights. we enhanced screening for all flights coming to the u.s. reached out to international partners, air carriers and other agencies to provide them information they needed on the ground. in our report to the president's on fixing what went wrong with it the president's report on fixing what went wrong, we have led five other areas of action. first, as this incident underscores, aviation security is increasingly an international responsibility. that is why we have a multi continent tour to meet with international counterparts about
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airline and airport safety. this evening, i will travel to spain to meet with the eu colleagues to discuss standards and we will include in that information sharing, technology, and other related issues. second, dhs has created a partnership with the department of energy to use their scientific expertise to improve screening technology at domestic airports. third dhs will move forward with advanced screening techniques to approve -- to improve our ability to detect the types of the closest -- the types of explosives used in the christmas day attack. there are currently 40 of those machines deployed now and we will deploy at least 450 more this year. fourth, we will and have strengthened the capacity of aviation law enforcement
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including the federal air marshal service. finally, dhs will work with and her agency partners to reevaluate and modified the way that the terror watch list is created, including how names are added to list its. i am glad to be working with leaders about this. in addition to this committee, who have done so much to improve our homeland security apparatus. i am also grateful to the men and women of the department of homeland security who do so much every day to guard our country against attack. lastly, i wish i could tell you with all of this ongoing work and upcoming actions, that they will never again be another abdulmutallab. i cannot do so. what i can tell you is that this administration and the men and
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women of the dhs are working 110% every day to minimize the likelihood of a successful terrorist attack against the homeland and i am proud to be a part of that work. thank you for the opportunity to testify and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for the substantive and spirited opening statements. i would like to indicate to my colleagues that the panel members have made themselves available for a private session immediately following this public session if there are questions that cannot be discussed in public session. we will have seven minute rounds of questions. let me go back to the post-9/11 period and the common belief now witches that our response at that time was that there was not information sharing going
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on. there was enough information in the federal system that we should have found and been able to stop the attacks of 9/11. it was not being together on the same board so those connections were not seen. one of the great goals of the 9/11 commission was to make sure that metaphorically speaking that all of the information came together on the same board so it could be seen. i think what we have learned painfully is that there is so much information that it is being collected by the intelligence and other agencies of our government that it is not enough to put it on the same board. we have to create a system to find out how to connect the information that we have, either technological or human. as you mentioned, part of what
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emerges from the christmas day bombing case is there was intelligence information about al qaeda being involved with somebody named umar farouk, his father comes into the embassy in nigeria and says he is worried about his son, there were conversations pent-up from al qaeda about a nigerian -- conversations picked up from of canada aboal qaeda about a niged in an attack. children now, go on to google and search an enormous array of information immediately.
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nctc, you have a series of separate databases from different parts of the intelligence community. in that sense, you have access to all of them. there is not a program, a search engine by which you can buy act or automatic software programming that there would have been a hit and an alarm on all abdulmutallab, nigeria, december 25. am i correct >? >> we do not have that exact capacity. i would note that over the past several years, we have worked with people from across the government and private sector companies that you would expect to have that technology.
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the answer has uniformly been that it is not as easy a problem as people would expect. i think we have some potential technological solutions on a very near-term horizon we are attempting to implement within weeks. frankly, we were surprised, i was surprised, at the extent to which other agency searches were not hitting against very critical datasets that might have uncovered this and then highlighted that for us and others. >> do you want to add anything to that? >> i would only amplify on what director michael leiter said. the search tools that we now have depend upon certain characteristics. i do not want to describe them here. there also have blind spots that
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to not allow this sort of global-like idea -- google-like idea that we have on our own computers. i think that the other thing i have learned from this is that almost all of our energy was focused on building systems and search engines. we do not have enough of a testing regime so that we do the what ifs before we have one of these incidences and fix them for ourselves. continued self testing is going to be a great part going forward so we can make some of these mistakes for practice before we make them for real. >> there is a sense of real urgency to bring out after
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improving the search capacity across the databases you have to come up with linkages. >> correct. this is not a new problem from our perspective. we have not gotten to the point we need to get and we are trying to accelerate that now. >> the other way to deal with this is to assign cases, suspected cases, so people can call them. that is a difficult thing to do. i would like you to talk about this a little bit. presumably, that requires somebody being concerned enough about a particular matter out of the thousands of cases that you have every day out of your concerns. let us take this case. if somebody had said based on the father coming into an
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embassy, we have to follow this or based on the intelligence stream that the arabian peninsula as working with a nigerian and something is going to happen on december, 25. somebody has to make that base my decision. do you have the human capacity to assign people to chase these down and have a responsibility almost as if this was a police department and you were assigning a detective to pursue a case? it is not to find the murderer in this case but to prevent a murder from happening. what is our capacity to deal with this with battered usage of personnel? >> i think your question maris exactly right. the more difficult thing is deciding what the threat is in the first place. there are two things that we're doing to improve this. i have not had the capacity to
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do this and way that it needs to be done. we were going to expand the scale of that. we have been very good at chasing down threats that come out of afghanistan and pakistan. we are going to be better at kissing down the small bits of data that come out of east africa or north africa. we are establishing with new resources teams that have no responsibilities other than to win that. we are calling them pursued teams for the very reason you identified. find the small bits and hunt them down until we either figure out what is the one on board there is simply no where else to go and there is no other data out there to be applied to the problem. >> just for context, i would cite to things. not by way of excuses but by the way of understanding. the only conversation on resources i had with director
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michael leiter leading up to christmas was a conversation the week before about how we would allocate a $30 million cut and the office of the dni, part of which funds the nctc. the general fiscal climate we were dealing with was one that was producing resources -- that was reducing resources. as you read through the guidance given to analysts that the were expected to cast a fishy eye on the inclusion of a lot more names. the pressure was on the other direction. shame on us for giving in to that pressure. we have not greatly expanded the list from what it was on
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december 24. what is prudent is the put names on it just in case and then take them off if not needed. the question was quite an the other direction. -- the pressure quite in the other direction. i should not have given in to that pressure and we have changed that attitude and we will maintain that over a course of time until this campaign finally ends. >> i cannot thank you enough for what you just said. it seems to me that in the process of deciding what to watch list people being put on, we were using a standard that was as you said legalistic. the very words, reasonable suspicion, come from supreme court cases that to govern
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warrantless searches by police in the u.s. we are war with these people. if somebody brings information to the u.s. government that suggests in any way that a person is involved in terrorism, he at least is justified in putting them on a list that will subject them to secondary screening before they board a plane to come to the u.s. that is not being used as a basis for arrest or conviction. this is a classic in the ongoing tension between security and liberty. i appreciate your admission and your commitment to change this. i think we were hearing to much on the side of legalistic visions of privacy or even convenience and that ultimately jeopardize his security of the maturity. that is carried could news and i thank you for that. >> good intelligence is clearly
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critical to our ability to stop terrorist plots. that is why i am free concerned about the decision to quickly charge of abdulmutallab in civilian court. i believe that by to win so, we have lost an opportunity to secure additional intelligence from him not only about his own training but intelligence that could possibly allow us to uncover other plots that are emanating from yemen. we know that those interrogations' can provide critical intelligence but the protections in our civil justice system as opposed to the military tribunal system can
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encourage terrorists to lawyer up and stop answering questions. i am told that abdulmutallab, once he was mirandized, that is exactly what he did. he stopped answering questions. my question for each of you is where you consulted regarding the decision to file criminal charges against abdulmutallab and civilian court? >> i was not. >> i have been a part of the deliberations for this high volume interrogations unit which we started as part of the executive order. that unit was created exactly for this purpose. to make a decision on whether a
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certain person being detained should be treated as a case for federal prosecution or for some of the other means. we did not invoke in this case. we were thinking more of overseas people. we did not do with them but that is what we will do now. we need to make those decisions more carefully. i was not consulted. the decision was made on the scene and it seemed logical to the people there. it should >> i was not. >> i think that is very troubling. it appears to me that we lost an opportunity to secure some valuable intelligence information that director blair described should have been
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implemented in this case. i think it is very troubling that it was not. three key intelligence officials were not involved. i would like to move to another issue. the facts surrounding the failure to retract abdulmutallab's of the separately troubles me. it appears that ultimately, no agency considered itself responsible for this decision point. the state department spokesman said that they did not revoke the visa because it is not their responsibility. it would be up to the national counter-terrorism center to make the determination on whether to revoke a person's of the south. -- revoke a person's a visa.
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visa. dhs had been given the ability to revoke the says. visas. the secretary should have the ability to review and refuse the visa. i want to get at the issue of why abdulmutallab was allowed to keep it be sahis visa and who hs the authority to look at the individuals listed on the broadest list, identified those with visas and take action to
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sesuspend them. whose job is that? >> i will admit that when i was told of that authority that i do not have, i was surprised that the state department said that i did have that. it is clear that legal authority resides with the state department. we do not have any authority to do so. the initial look for the screening center, for that number we have already reviewed anybody who already has a visa. we have also been quite aggressive in applying the no- fly criteria for those that do have a visa.
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we have been using a less legalistic approach in applying those standards. beginning in the late summer of 2008, we began fully in conjunction with the state department, reviewing these applications in a way that i believe is far more advanced that was previously used with the state department. we now provide more advanced technology to screen these visas more completely and i am happy to address that in closed session. >> i think you are putting your finger on a characteristic of this terrorist combating effort that we need to tighten down with the strong enthusiasm for counter-terrorism, the sense
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that we all have to be working on it. i think we did not try out some of the responsibilities as far as we should have. everybody is helping but who is it at the end? you identified one more where we want to and are going to tighten responsibilities and make them more clear. there is a tendency to say we have this capability and you do not. we should not let that interfere with the ability of anybody to do that. >> you have some broad authority in this area. whose job is it from your perspective? >> under 428, the department has the legal authority to refuse
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the issuance of a visa. the state department has retained the ultimate authority to revoke these once issued. i think all of us have a role, along with the state department, in measuring pre-existing visas. that is a part of the tightening that we talked about. >> thank you. >> those are excellent questions. i want to make two brief points. the first is to say that i share senator:'s concern about the decision -- senatohtethe s's concern about trying
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abdulmutallab and civilian court. i am troubled that secretary napolitano was not asked to comment on that because there are obvious homeland security implications and trying totr try a terrorist suspect. we are going to convene a hearing on this subject in february. the homeland security implications of the decisions to try terrorist suspects in federal courts, in to focusing on the visa question, i think the senator has put her
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finger on an important point. we want to raise a fresh question. whether the visa processing responsibility really should be with the department, -- with the state department, and this is not a matter of foreign policy. it may be a waste of foreign service officers to have them interviewing people to decide if they are eligible for a visa. it is much more a question of the law and homeland security, whether in terms of legitimacy and immigration. we are going to do is separate hearing on that. i am not inviting a response unless you wish to. i do not want to intrude upon my colleague's time. i will call senators in order of arrival at is our cucustom.
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>> i want to thank the members. thank you for being here today. i will jump right to it. there have been reports coming out of canada that suggest an increasing concern about radicalization and the possibility of canada becoming staging area for terrorists entering the u.s. what do you think about these assessments? how seriously should we take these reports? could you tell me what you think about that potential threat and what we are doing about it? >> a lot of the answer should come in the closed part of this meeting. >> that is fine. >> i will say that we have had extensive personal discussions
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with law enforcement and security officials in canada, not just in the wake of december 25 but also in preparation for the of things that will be held there. >> we can do that in closed session. that will be good. our reporters are only as strong as the weakest link. we do not want to panic and shut down the borders. we need to have the balance. when people come into the country with explosives sewn into their clothes, as happened on christmas, it means we have issues not only and airports but also the issues you talked about are critically important. . .
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admiral blair talked about the fact that these explosive were known about, these type of explosives. is the screening and adequate to catch the technologies coming down the pike, even when we know about them? >> i think the point is that there are multiple layers of secured debt need to happen. no single one of all -- of
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security that need to happen. no one of which is a single silver bullet. they increase the likelihood that they will prevent something from happening. once you get to the airport domestically, that excludes -- includes explosive technique -- detection and dogs. internationally, it is different. we do not control in that sense international airports are screening procedures. if we have somebody on the list, we advise that additional screening shoot be done to read what we're doing is embarking on an aggressive international effort, using this incident as a catalyst for countries that have passengers to fly to look at their overall screening in airport procedures, because there is great variation around
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the world. >> what you're saying is at this point in time, we're talking generally here, the screening that goes on in foreign countries does not -- it is not as adequate as what goes on here domestically. >> it depends on what airport you're talking about. the airport in amsterdam, the screening there is not dissimilar from the screening in the united states, and the screening that abdulmutallab went through was not that dissimilar. we want more explosive detection, more technology. other airports have resisted some of those items, because of other concerns that they have about privacy, for example. this incident is serving as a
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catalyst to reopen that dialogue, particularly with the airports and countries where we have a large throughput of passengers to the united states. >> i want to get back to that. i assume that there will be another round of questioning. i was shipped off of this to something else why have you here. we all know what has happened in haiti over the last seven to 10 days, it has been devastating. there is an issue about adoption potential, haiti children who had been left without parents. we have about five families here who have completed paperwork to get the children from haiti. and yet they are being held up. i need to get a commitment from you that the citizenship and immigration services will work with my office to help expedite our ability to get those kids out. as you can imagine, the
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constituency is very anxious. it is a terrible situation. i just need your help in making this work. >> senator, you have that commitment. but may give another answer? this actually has been -- that dhs can work it so many levels on so many things, so the coast guard has been in haiti, the matter has been helping usaid to get into haiti. the issue of war funds is one that is tragic -- of orphans is one that has been tragic. i think that that is going to grow. i think it is something that needs to be handled very carefully, because there are many issues involved in terms of making sure that people -- i am not going to say these five children, but other children that come to west are indeed
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orphans -- they come to us are indeed orpen's. there are other issues as to whether the adoptive parents in the united states are qualified for adoption under the applicable law. there are issues about the health and welfare of the children brought to the united states. many of them need to be immediately put into it care of hhs and checked over thoroughly before they can be moved. so we have formed a team, state department, us, hhs, three of the big components to really work on this adoption issue. we all want the right things for this children. this issue is only going to grow over time. >> that is correct and i appreciate the opportunity to work with you and your group of people on this issue. and i thank the chairman and belgium -- chairman's indulgence. >> thank you very much. we all share the concern.
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siddur burris. good morning. -- say to boris. the door -- senator burris. good morning. >> it is important to recognize the contribution of the many agencies for making our homeland as secure as it is. see you all -- so you are to be complemented for the work that you have done. there had been numerous terrorist plots will cents 9/11, some of which have occurred in my home state of illinois. so we are grateful to you for that effort. and i just wonder -- several questions that come to my mind. is there a resource problem here? mr. blair, other directors, is there a resource problem here?
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>> senator, first of all, thank you for that kind words. i appreciate the kind words now but this is not an occasion that we are happy about in any way. >> understood. >> problems with resources, we were facing cuts last week. with the directors help, those have been avoided. and in order to do some of the enhancement of the watchlist to make sure that when you have a umar farouk, you put that together with the aid umar farouk abdulmutallab. it does take more resources and director blair has been extremely supportive of that, as has the white house. >> we have moved money and people in the near term to put more on helping it ctc, and
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there will have to be some changes to the budget in order to sustain that. >> another question -- i just wonder in our democracy, as i was watching the news on this issue about the detroit bomber, and watching media reports, i had some concern about what was being reported for future actions. i don't know what this will come up and closed hearing are not, but i was concerned when the media was reporting where the airports were going to be screening. it by my terrorists, what am i going to do? i am not going to be bothered -- isn't there some information that we need to keep classified in where the extra screening is going to come from, not to be knowledgeable to the general public?
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americans have a right to know but if we know them, then everybody else knows them. >> i could not agree more, senator byurris, and the defensive measures that we are taking make it that much easier. the kind of hearing we're having this morning were you have responsible witnesses who think through what could be a classified and unclassified, i think they are absolutely essential. this airport is good or bad, i think they are unjust -- i think it makes the job of those working hard to defend us that much harder for that much more -- i just wish people would shut the hell up. >> thank you. [laughter] it makes sense to me because
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that was my immediate reaction when i see on this list on what airports would be now putting in special screeners. other questions that might not be answered here and i might not be able to attend a closed session because i have to poseidon very shortly but i am concerned -- i have to preside very shortly, but i am concerned about the techniques used by the terrorist. i did see a movie just recently coming back from china, a movie on the plane, mr. chairman, and i don't know of anyone has seen that movie. it is about the terrorists and how they were going to set bombs here in america. i just hope that we are anticipating all of the various processes -- one time it was issued. this time it's underpants. what will it be the next time?
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and i am pretty sure you all cannot fix "-- disclose this at this point, but please disclose it for the record and the are closed hearing. what are the techniques that you are assessing so we can be on the offense, as you said, director blair, but we have to be on the offense in this regard. and i am sure that you are but i've just want to reemphasize that, because i can say for the record, i think about the small towns across america. i was a terrorist, i would not go after chicago or new york. you know where i would go? i would go to my home town of some trolly up, ill. centraliz -- centralia, illinois.
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is there a comment? >> yes, senator. one of the criticisms that we've talked about among ourselves is being reacted as opposed to proactive all the time did you have to be proactive and fix what went wrong. what you have identified the problem, had tried to fix it. but we need to think ahead to be proactive. that is why, we have entered into this agreement to get some of the best scientists in the world in our national labs thinking ahead about the next generation of screening technology and what it could show us. the other thing is the threat that is constantly are evolving center. -- that is constantly evolving, senator. i received very little information about u.s. citizens that were set -- were
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themselves radicalize to the point of terror. that has changed over the course of the year. director leiter has already talked about the emerging threat out of yemen. there is a constant evolving environment that we have to deal with, and be thinking ahead of. the challenge for us is a challenge at this table and four others, i challenge for the congress, i challenge for our international partners, is to always be thinking about the next iteration that is being conceived. >> mr. chairman, one quick point. i would like to comment on something that the ranking member collins made in reference to where this person would be tried. i understand that intelligence was gathered from this person prior to him given his rights.
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i don't know whether or not that could be disclosed to alleviate some of the anxiety and reference to weather route -- whether or not we were able to get any of permission from this young man, which i understand there was substantial information acquired prior to his rights. >> thank you very much, senator burris. senator mccain. >> i thank the witnesses for their continued service to this country everyone knows the christmas bomber, a person buys a ticket with cash, one way ticket, his father has already warned the cia, the series of missteps taken place which led to this near tragedy. i thank the witnesses for their candor and forthcomingness about this that your spirit president
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said, "if for immediately made it public that i will hold my staff, our agencies, and the people in them accountable when they fail to grow -- to hold their -- to perform at the highest levels peaky who has been held accountable? i will be lent to you, mr. leiter. as anybody been fired transferred? has anyone received a letter of admonition? has anyone been put on leave? go ahead. >> we are conducting internal reviews to determine whether or not any of the should beeper feet -- pursued. >> how long should it take? it's fairly clear what happened, isn't it? >> many backs are not clear. i would correct the record on a couple point. he did not walk a one-way ticket. he bought a round-trip ticket. the fact that he use cash is in
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africa completely and utterly -- >> that was in copenhagen, not africa. >> no, sir, he bought that ticket -- >> you are defending that we should not have found -- we should not have been alerted to this individual, sir -- >> sir, i apologize. we are reviewing all of these individuals and the president is reviewing my performance as well. >> admiral bellaire? >> you when i haven't -- you and i have a navy background. the first investigation as a safety investigation to fix the parts of the system. the second is the accountability part of the investigation. >> it has been miky experience that the captain is relieved immediately. >> the captain is sometimes
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relief and sometimes he is not. >> until such time as he is cleared. i would be glad to go over naval history with you. my question is, has anyone been held accountable? >> we are doing investigation to make sure we do not hold them accountable based on bad information but accountable on what the standards that they were expected to board formed to work. and that is under way as i said in my opening statement. the system was capable of doing this. i personally have a large degree of responsibility for making sure those pieces are working and we are working to make that happen. i do not feel good about it and i am fixing it. >> i was not asking if you are facing it or not. it has been several weeks and no one has been held accountable. madam secretary? >> senator, we did not prepare a
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no-fly our terrorist list and we do not do the screening at international airports. i am secretary of common security and i share responsibility for the enterprise that has to happen to prevent this from happening again. >> i thank you, madam secretary. i understand, admiral blair, that in response to senator collins, you're not consulted as to which they knew the christmas bombing would be tried again. >> that is correct. >> how about you, mr. leiter? >>, no sir, i was not. >> secretary to paul a tunnel? >> no. >> i have asked your opinion. should the christmas bomber be tried in civilian court or should he be under military tried burn all -- tribunal? >> i am not ready to offer an opinion on that in open session. we can talk about it in closed
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session, senator mccain. >> mr. leiter? >> i did not have a position. i am and -- i am focusing on this and i am not -- i do not have an unpaid -- i do not have an opinion on where he should be charged. >> the christmas bombing was providing information that was necessary to try to crack this case. when he got a lawyer, he immediately stopped that information. that is according to public documents. i do not have any classified information. if that is the case, i think it is a terrible mistake. i think it is a terrible, terrible mistake when it is pretty clear that this individual did not act alone. admiral bellalair, in your testimony before the committee, you said that he would withhold
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judgment on whether the intelligence reform act provided that the nai with sufficient authority. -- the dni had sufficient authority. >> senator mccain, has this job continues, it has been five years now cents the director of national intelligence was established. i find that you discover new things that you have to fix as you go along. this incident is exposing some of those. the authorities of the dni heretofore were to be able to make the big pieces happen. there was lots of sharing of the formation in this case. what we're finding is some individual pieces in which i think more of a party may be
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required. -- more authority may be required. i do not know quite yet, but the authority mandated by congress had been important to make improvements happened. >> i thank the witnesses. mr. chairman, i find it interesting that none of the top individuals were consulted on a decision whether to put the christmas bomber into civilian court or into a military tribunal. i think whoever advised him -- i think his decision was a terrible mistake, which could impact our ability to defend this nation. i thank the witnesses. >> i thank yous, senator mccain. center in sin? -- center in san -- sesenator
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ensign? >> who made the decision to mirandize the prisoner? >> it was made by the team on a charge of the scene, with consolidation in the department of justice. >> how high up did this go? does any of the rest of you know? >> no, sir. >> ok. secretary impala town of, -- the polish town of -- napolitano, this had to do with the pieces and we understand that the state department, i guess, director lighter, you talked about that you did not know that you had the authority or did not have the authority -- >> i did not have the authority.
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>> has there not been a case in the past were someone brought to you -- and other words, have we not rejected any basis? >> the state department has the authority to revoke the visa. >> what i am saying to you is, has no one in your organization brought you a case where you thought that there should be a visa rejected, where you actually found out that you did not have that authority before the christmas day bombing? >> we routinely provided intelligence to the state department to make that decision. >> that is not an answer to my question. somebody -- in other words, somebody who is within your organization, they have information. this person should be rejected. did you not then make a recommendation to find that you did not have the authority before that? has no one brought that information to you? >> the spokes person for the state department was simply confused and no one in the state department who works these
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issues as we thought that i had the authority to revoke these pieces because i do not. >> try to understand my question. is someone in your organization bringing you have permission about somebody who should be rejected, okay? >> no, because no one believes that i have the out party to revoke visas. >> they know that already. you did not know it, but they know it. >> i'd joke with secretary clinton. i did not realize i had the authority because clearly i did not. it was only the state department spokesman about where that path party late. -- a pauthority lay. >> this has been brought up about who is responsible for this colossal failure. and business, you understand that there is not one person responsible for certain decisions, if there are several people, then no one can be held
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accountable to no one makes the decision. it has to do whether it is of these a rejection of whatever, no one feels like that they are actually accountable. it goes back to what senator mccain was talking about. if there are all these people accountable but no one person accountable, the decisions are not made and people really do not know who is supposed to make the decision. is that being addressed in this whole valuation process of what went on? >> senator, i guess, in a variety of ways, but admiral blair explain that one of the things addressed is who has the responsibility to follow up on different lines of intelligence as they come in. >> and so are we going to have a clear set up this person is responsible for making that decision -- is everybody going to know what they're supposed to
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do and what they are not supposed to do, is the best way to answer that, and when will we have all of those procedures in place to where everyone knows what they are supposed to do and not supposed to do? >> we have 30 days that the president has established to have anything from executive order down to the intelligence community directive, which i would sign, or similar off authorities like secretary to paul a ti the polish townnapoli. >> in any case like that, that is a guarantee from you. that that is not going to happen in the future. this will be convened. from what i understand, you will only use interrogation
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techniques that are approved and the army field manual. is that correct? >> the type of interrogation techniques will be will be calculated by the purposes for which we want to make that information available, whether law enforcement or intelligence. if it is intelligence, then, guess, the techniques that are in the army field manual will be used by the interrogator. >> and as public, the army field manual. this administration to stop using any type of classified -- so that terrorists can basically trying to the interrogation techniques in the army field manual since they are public. but if we use classified ones, keeping the terrace guessing what they are going through, it would be hard to train, would you not agree? >> the experience that we have is that it depends on the scale of the interrogator. and we have the best
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interrogators. >> that does not answer my question. that terrorists are allowed to trade to this because it is a public document, the army field manual was a public document. >> but terrorist know what the techniques are, but -- >> but if they were classified, they used to use classified techniques, it would be harder to train to it. >> i don't think it would make a difference. >> why did they use classified techniques before? what you think that through our intelligence committee, they use that if they did not think it was superior to the techniques used with the army field manual? >> we have looked at that quite carefully, senator, and we do not know whether that same affirmation that was gained through extrajudicial measures could have been obtained without them. >> i guess that is something we will have to disagree on.
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one last point. you made this comment that i thought was stunning. whoever it was a was more concerned about what folks were thinking overseas -- you even use the word duh when you talk about trying this person and civilian court and to mirandize this person. can you further explain what you're talking about, the administration concerned more with people overseas and what their opinion of folks overseas was? >> that was not the context in which i made that word. can you tell me -- and you read me a little bit about what that was? it had to do with our being able to pursue both the threat to united states coming out of yemen and being up to presume to
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violent extremist activities or terrorist threats within units appeared we needed to be able to do but that the same time. >> but this was in response to whether or not he was going to be tried in civilian courts. that is when you said, we were more concerned about what they thought overseas. and you even -- >> let me think back to that. i said that when we were thinking about -- when we put the hig to gather, we were thinking about terrorist captured overseas. we did not think about the case in which a terrorist was apprehended, as this one was, in the united states. we set up thought of that. we should automatically applied the hig and we will not. >> i was thinking that we could run the transcript of the
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hearing for the use of the were ord, duh. senator cockburn is next. -- coburn is next. >> thank you for your service. you have a tough job and when things go wrong, it is our job to help you figure out how to get it back. and i think you're all dedicated to doing that. i am going to ask a few questions. at work with my staff to make sure that i stay within the bounds of what i can ask your. i will wait until i thursday meeting in the intelligence committee to finish it. a couple of questions for both director blair and director lighter. the intelligence community has been largely consisted in noting that had all the pieces of the intelligence been connected, this individual what it met the criteria for watchless.
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had all been put together, he would have met the criteria. there have been inconsistencies about whether he would have been put on the no-fly list. used say that it would have been determined by the strength of the analytic judgment. but officials say that he would not have met the criteria for no-fly or selectee. that is what they have reported to me. can you explain the criteria and whether not the information would have written -- risen to the level of no-fly for selected? >> id is not an easy yes-no question. >> by a understand that. that is why i ask the question. >> it really comes down to where he would of been placed, select the or not apply, on what the analytic judgment was at that time. so looking at the signals intelligence and looking at what the father said, you put that together and the question is,
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with the zero analysts have said we have a potential al qaeda in the arabian peninsula opera to, all we have an opportunity may be boarding an airplane to use a suicide bomb, or this individual was involved in plotting around december 125 to attack the united states. on the purse, he would be selected but not now apply. on the second, he would be no fly. it's easy to see that he should have been on the no fly. but it would have depended on what the analysts said, putting the pieces together about what kind of operative he was and what his intention was. from our perspective, the right answer, we should not try to parse it in the first ensign. we ought to have standards that allow, frankly, a greater degree of flexibility. you do not have to predict it that way of what an individual
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is going to do. if ps certain associations and is involved in any operational activity, it is a clear answer and that should be no fly. >> we ought to err on the side of caution. >> i certainly things up. >> and there was a lot a political pressure because so many people on the no fly less, duplicative names that we actually reassessed that in the recent past and made it harder to put people on that list. >> that is absolutely correct, senator. >> director liner, in your testimony today you said that mr. abdulmutallab was identified as unknown or set -- suspected terrorists. -- a known or suspected terrorist. the derogatory information associated with them did not meet the existing policy standards. for him to be watch listed, let alone be placed on the no fly or select the list.
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can you explain how someone you have said was identified as a known or suspected terrorist and about whom you have acquired by graphic that that does not meet the criteria for him to be watch listed? >> yes, senator, and i want to make clear at the beginning that we made a mistake in not -- and not associating all of that information -- and at that point he would have been in the terror screening data base. we have a not insignificant number, roughly 100,000 individuals, who have some association with terrorist groups. that may be family members or the like, or they may have lower-level derogatory information grid that is simply lower than what was adopted in august 2008, and promulgated in 2009 for inclusion in the official watch list. it was simply a matter of the
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data that we associated with them, not meeting that hires that it -- status. >> secretary napolitano, thank you for your service. i am concerned with what is going on at tsa, and i refer you to an article by mr. -- in the "wall street journal was "about bodies gainers the "wall street journal" about body scanners. have you seen it? >> no, i'm not. >> windy ig looks at what the tsa is doing in terms of screening techniques and equipment, we have a failure to meet your own standards as we install the equipment. i would caution and i will have this conversation with you probably based on the information we have looked and gleaned from ig the reports and the experience that we have seen that as we respond to the public outcry for us to do more that
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the potential to waste a ton of money on something that is not going to be qualified to actually change the outcomes of this past december 25, and so i just raise with you that i am highly concerned about that. i also was a medical doctor and -- and highly concerned about the exposure we are going to put people to and highly concerned that the technology that we have today would not have stopped this even if we have had full body scanners in use. and we would not have. and i would love your comments. >> without commenting on the "wall street journal" article that i did not read yesterday, i can say with respect both through diego and ig report on scanners -- both through a gao and ig report, they were looking at earlier iteration of technology. it has evolved rapidly over time, but we're continuing to
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push the technology. that is why we have asked not just our department but the department of energy and the national labs to get involved. from the objective evidence, the scanners that are being deployed now clearly give us a better chance of picking up, be it metals, nonmetals, powders, or liquids, that somebody may be able to eat -- may be trying to get onto a plane. >> externally. >> we can talk in closed session about that, senator. >> based on the analysis of- staff on operational testing and screening technologies, i will send you a follow-up questions. and if you can get those back to me quickly, i would appreciate it. >> we would be happy to do that. >> thank you again for your service. >> thank you so much, senator coburn. >> thank you for having this
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hearing and a want ad my welcome to the witnesses that are here. i have been concerned about privacy and civil liberties in all of this. as president obama has made clear weaknesses in our characters -- counter-terrorism is systems and human errors have created gaps in our nation's defense. it is vitally important that we address these gaps quickly. we should not sacrifice our principles nor undermine our long-term strategic efforts against al qaeda and other terrorists. i would like to make two 0.3 per, congress working closely with the administration must
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protect privacy rights and civil though it -- civil liberties while trying to improve our nation's defense. second, we should be mindful that screening technologies and different procedures of one cannot ensure the safety of our flying public. i believe that we should enhance our international partnership, use imagination and risk-based thinking in exploring potential threats, and give our security were forced a range of tools, training, and the support it needs to protect the american people. secretary napolitano, your tas -- you are tasked with
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effectively putting up the screening consistent with civil liberties. how involved will dhs's civil liberties offices be with technology such fault -- such as full body imaging is this point more widely? >> they are involved right now and have been involved from the beginning in terms of how we deal with privacy and some of the objections raised, particularly with respect to the advanced imaging technologies. no, i would generate -- i would reiterate that the people are not where the screening is done, so there is a great deal of privacy in that regard with respect to individual identity already built into the system, but even as we move forward, we
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have our office of privacy and the office of civil rights and liberties engaged in the process and the decision making. >> director blair and director ligheter, it also requires your organization to improve technology related to intelligence and to enhance watch listing capabilities. unfortunately the privacy and civil liberties oversight board, created by the intelligence reform act to protect americans' privacy and civil liberties, has not been set up. my question to you is how will your agencies ensure that corrective actions and response to the christmas they plot take
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privacy and civil liberties into account? >> senator, let me say that i think that that panel should be manned up and started. it would provide a very valuable service. we do have our civil liberties and privacy officer very much involved as we consider the changes that i described in my testimony, but i would take your question one of the direction, and that has to do with families and the personal effect of what we have been talking about. we've been pretty much about standards and regulation and screening and so on. the chairman introduced me to members of the families of some of the 9/11 victims before this hearing, which reminds us of the real people involved in this, not just big bureaucracies. i am also reminded that it was a father who came into the embassy had talked about his son that he was worried about in yemen falling under radical influence.
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we know that last fall there were five young men from northern virginia that went back to pakistan and with their families that came in and tell them about them so that they could be identified. while we talk about all the responsibility of government and everything we're doing at the bureaucratic level, concerned about families, that is a key part of keeping ourselves safe. we should not either under rate or neglect, it is a very proper emphasis. when we are dealing with families, we need to rely on their help and make sure that we're not violating their civil liberties that they expect as americans. >> senator, i fully agree with the view that we have to have civil liberty as a central tenet and all of this.
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the director included four individuals, one of them as a civil liberty expert. the one thing that i would note is that it is very easy for me to recommend secretary napolitano to put everyone on the watch list on the no fly list. there are enormous and unacceptable cost to doing that. what we need to have is an agreement among the executive branch and members of congress about what the promise -- proper balance is. there was a balance that was struck previous to december 25, and frankly, we are now being told that a different balance should be struck. i am very eager to engage in that discussion with this committee and other committees to make sure that we have the right balance because i do not want to be here after the fact again saying, if only we could have done this. >> director blair and director
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leiter, dni had not completed their information sharing and firemen privacy policies. dhs has developed its policy. what is the status of dni and nctc developing a policies? >> i am not quite sure what policy that refers to. all have to check and get back to you. but we're very vigilant about getting those policies out. let me find out where the shortcoming yes. -- where the shortcoming is. >> it is one consolidated policy. and in light of these events, we wanted to understand what the rules are that we are applying. >> thank you. senator levin, welcome.
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>> i welcome to our witnesses. apparently someone at dhs plan ned mr. abdulmutallab for additional screening what's the plan was in flight. what triggered that? >> let me explain the process. customs and border protection, when it gets the passenger list, pushes out to the immigration groups known as the aepe, anyone that appears on the terrorist watchlist or on the no fly list. the no fly list is a list given to the carrier, and basically is says do not but the sky onto a
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plane. the terrorist list is to inform the airport or a foreign government that you should put this person into your secondary screening whatever that happens to be. there is other information that customs has that involves whether that person should be questioned before they are admitted into the united states. it is the difference between whether they should be allowed on a plane, which is really 8 tsa standard -- >> this was an automatic process. >> versus other information that should be explored before they are actually admitted into the united states. >> i understand. this is a regular routine process. >> based on a regular routine process at that time, the information on the list that
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would have led to the state department note was something that they would have pursued when he got to detroit. >> the dhs agent in amsterdam, did he have access to that same of formation? >> note, he has access to the no fly and the terrorist watchlist. >> should he not have access to that? whatever that number is, should they not have access to that list? >> senator, if i might take that and two lights. with respect to that particular portion of the state department list, that listed him as they p3b, we have changed that to push that lord like we do the terrorist watchlist, like we do the no fly list. but the entire list includes
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people that were previously accused of bringing in the wrong type of ham across the u.s.- mexican border. the type of understanding that we need to have with the congress, where are all of those questions done, the staff, the resources for those questions is domestic. >> the information pushed for it to your information folks here in this case now is being pushed for to your dss agents and other cities, is that what you're saying? >> yes, sir. >> so that this ban weapons subject to extra inquiry in amsterdam if this had been pushed forward. >> yes, sir. >> great britain did not allow this man to have a visa. do we share information with
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great britain and other eu countries as to who is on their list? >> we share some, but that is one of the reasons why we have embarked on an international efforts, because that information sharing needs to be tighter than it is, more real time that it is, and more complete than it is and is complete air environment. >> and to clarify, he was denied his visa for non-terrorist reasons. the british did not have information that he was associated with terrorism and other than that which we talked about and signals intelligence. >> but we are working out arrangements with other countries to share in affirmation about people who should be on watch list. >> absolutely. >> how many people were recommended for all watchlist, the way he was by our embassy, that were not added to the watch list in 2009?
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>> i will have to take that for the record. it is quite routine that this field makes a blanket recommendation for his inclusion and all levels of the watch list, and then they apply the standards. >> i just want to know approximately how many people were recommended to go on to the watch list by our own people in our embassies that were not added to the watch list. >> i'll take that off the record. >> you will have the approximate number. all right. how many that were on the watch list last year approximately were allowed into the country? the boilers that were on the watch list? a very significant number. just to give you a snapshot, it is approximately 400,000 names spirit out of those, only 14,000
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were selectees, and only 4000 of those were no flight. of very significant number, if they had traveled, they would add that met with secondary inspection. -- they would have been met with a very secondary inspection. a large number to eligible to come and whether or not they were ultimately turned away at the border. i cannot give you that number. >> that is instinctively troubling, is it not? >> senator, in one way that it is. and that goes right back to the standards, what are the standards? to love what we have too high aboard -- of far -- if we have too high of bar. >> we do not know how many people came into the country you are on the watch list. >> when people are on the watch list, we have made the choice
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that we want them in the country for some reason or another if they come in. >> that place that we had been required to keep abdulmutallab off the plane in down from the u.s. homeland. he would have the ban on the no fly less. however in the neck section of the report on the visa issue, the report acknowledges that mr. abdulmutallab's the sum might have been revoked it had been successfully watch listed. -if his visa had been revoked, e would of been prevented from boarding the plane. is there not inconsistent tcy? > no, sir. for people who have had their pieces for a vote, this may not be known to the people who put
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them aboard the aircraft. not only must there be said be revoked but they must be put on the no fly less. >> and that is not automatic. >> i would be happy to talk about it in closed session. >> that is a classified question as to whether someone has to be set is revoke is automatically put on the no fly list? not the process. is that the goal? is that a goal? >> the goal is to make sure that anyone that does not have to be said does not get on the airplane. >> senator camccaskill. >> this may not be the right witnesses are the right committee for this, whether justice our armed services, it may be the armed services committee, but the decision as to where terrorist that try to
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do our country on, where they are tried and process. i want to understand what the president was before december 25. there is no precedent in this country that anyone has ever been apprehended on our soil for a terrorist act and immediately got into the military system. is that correct? do you know? >> i think the right witnesses are from the department of justice. >> my understanding that a number of terrorists have been prosecuted in civilian courts in this country and that there were a couple under the bush administration that ultimately were taken the military court but after they were in it -- were initially arrested and arraigned in our civilian criminal court. what i am trying to figure out is, the process here. and if we have got a process. my understanding, mr. blair, earlier you testified that you
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were not consulted about the decision about whether or not this terrorist was going to go to a civilian court or a military court for some marc >> i was not consulted with the high interest interrogation room was deployed so that the questioning of abdulmutallab would be admissible in federal court order was being exploited for intelligence purposes. that might be related to where they would be tried, but not exclusively. we would like to be able to do both. we would like to get the information that would help us for intelligence purposes and had evidence that could be used against the person in a federal court. if we have to make a choice, then that ought to be made at a higher level with all the considerations you are talking about. >> my sense is what the american people want is for our military and our intelligence and our law
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enforcement community to have all the tools possible to get both good information and justice. >> exactly. >> all the tools are important but we are going to lose the ability to use those tools that we do not reassure the american people that there is a process in place and that these decisions are being made with the right people in the room. and i do not need to be derogatory to my friends at justice, but at that experiences in my life for the fbi takes over and nobody can talk to them. they just take over. and what i am worried about, can we reassure the american public that at these moments of decision, and it is my understanding also that the suspect was not mirandized for a long period of time. >> not for the initial interrogation, that is t.
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